School district considers employee tuition assistance

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]

Tuition assistance for classified and certified employees of the Mason County School District was discussed during Monday’s board of education meeting.

Superintendent Rick Ross said only two other districts in the state offer tuition assistance for employees.

“This would make us the third,” he said. “We have several teachers who’ve almost completed a degree.”

According to Ross, there would be requirements that would have to be met in order to receive the assistance, such as giving preference to teachers who could become dual-credit, asking for two years of service and two years of continued service.

“We would pay the bill directly to the college and they must have an A or B average,” Ross said. “We’re asking that they have two years of previous service and will commit to two continued years of service. For each additional year of assistance, they would be asked to serve an additional year in the district. If the requirements are not met, the recipient would have to reimburse the district.”

Ross said the district would allow up to $20,000 each school year to be divided among those who have applied and were accepted.

“We have several classified staff who are meant to be teachers,” Ross said. “But, due to financial constraints, it hasn’t been an option. We also have teachers who want to continue their education. You have to have a master’s degree to teach college level classes.”

The working budget for the 2018-2019 budget year was also presented during the meeting. The total budget revenue is $28.4 million, which includes a beginning balance of $4.3 million, a general fund revenue of $22 million, capital outlay fund of $242,190, building fund of $1.76 million, debt service revenue of $912,601, and food service revenue of $1.5 million.

“The working budget for past years will be elevated due to the on-behalf amounts that are entered from the state at the end of each year,” Mason County School District Finance Officer Lisa Moreland said. “Those numbers are not included for the current year.”

The superintendent evaluation was also presented with Ross receiving an exemplary score.

Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]